MADISON -- From the moment of our need on Saturday evening, Oct. 12, my son, Lane Warren, and our family were lifted up and held close by the Madison community that Lane was -- and my daughter Phoebe and I remain -- privileged to call home. God’s love and mercy were transmitted to us through the actions and words of so many:
>> Lane’s and Alyssa Edwards’ dear friends and their friends’ families and the neighbors on the scene of the crash.
>> The first responders from the Virginia State Police, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Rescue Squad and Madison County Fire Company.
>> Everyone who prayed through the night, both at the University of Virginia Medical Center and in their homes, on behalf of Lane and Alyssa.
>> The friends who fed us, drove us when we couldn’t drive, helped us when we couldn’t help ourselves; cared for Phoebe when she needed attention and I was preoccupied.
>> Those who jumped into action to manage phone calls and visitors and meals and then funeral preparations -- anything to help -- all with tremendous love.
>> Teachers, school administrators and staff who opened their arms, ears and hearts when so many students suffered unimaginable shock and grief.
>> Clergy and counselors who mobilized to bring healing into the high school and into our home, when and where it was needed most.
At the terrible risk of overlooking someone, I specifically acknowledge and thank:
>> Jordan Lynch and the Breckenridge family, and all of the students and families who were on the scene of the accident.
>> Bruce Harvey, Ralph Figgers, Caleb Kellison, Steve Hoffman and their co-responders in Madison and Greene.
>> Also, the extended Edwards-Shotwell family, the Daniel family, including Emillee Russell.
>> Susan Aylor, Wetsel Middle School staff and teachers.
>> Madison County High School staff and incredible coaches and teachers, especially Ashley Unger, Cheryl Paramore, Joe Novack, R.J. Nobblitt and Tina Weaver.
>> Lane’s classmates, friends and acquaintances, who drew close and worked together through their shock and grief to memorialize him, especially Joseph Sachs, Jordan Lynch, Tristan James, Ryan Weakley, and all “the boys,” and also the girls who tucked Phoebe under their wings -- Zoe Graves, Taylor Adams, Kaylin Breckenridge, Heather Beahm and Mary Kate Carpenter.
>> Everyone who attended the memorial service at the school Friday afternoon.
>> Pastors Brad Jackson, Alan Follett, Frank Lewis Sr., Barry Penn Hollar and Father Jim Bruse; the congregations of Mount Zion United Methodist Church, Piedmont Episcopal Church, Our Lady of the Blue Ridge Catholic Church and other Madison churches.
>> Barry Preddy and his colleagues.
>> Billy Hale.
>> Dear friends Jana Sikora, Robert Legge, Donna DeJarnette, Ruth Kulick, Mary Grace, Fran Roebuck, the Chada family, the Burbridge family, Lane's hockey family, Phoebe’s soccer family, and the many others who provided food, flowers, help at home, and expressions of sympathy and comfort.
>> Jennifer Johnson Campbell (Jenn’s Design) and Don Richeson (The Madison County Eagle) gave generously of their time to pay tribute to Lane in print.
>> Anita Fretwell, Jane and Theresa Klopp, and other church/family friends with angelic voices lifted up Lane and all of us in song on Saturday. Mo Gentry and Jordan Lynch participated eloquently in Lane’s funeral Mass; the Chada brothers and others helped Father Bruse to prepare and offer the Mass, and hundreds of caring neighbors and friends came to bid Lane farewell. Many labored with love in their kitchens at home, at Our Lady of the Blue Ridge and at Giovanna’s to provide nourishing and delicious food for all.
Phoebe and I and our family thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for blessing Lane and us with your love and care. May God bless you and have mercy on us all.
(Lisa Warren is the mother of Lane Warren, the 18-year-old Madison County High School senior who passed away the day after an Oct. 12 car crash that occurred while traveling in a student caravan to the MCHS homecoming dance. [His passenger, 16-year-old MCHS sophomore Alyssa Edwards, was seriously injured.] Lisa, who lives in Madison, indicated that she wrote this on behalf of herself and Lane’s sister, Phoebe Warren, and family.)